IN a move to help tackle poor sanitation and hygiene in the Solomon Islands a new multi-sectoral working group has been established.
A statement from the Ministry of Health media unit said, sanitation may not be the most attractive of development topics, but in the Solomon Islands, it is one of the most important.
“It is estimated that only 18% of rural people in the Solomon Islands have access to adequate sanitation.
“Poor sanitation and hygiene contributes to an increasing number of preventable illnesses each year,” the statement said.
To help turn this around, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services through the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Unit (RWASH), Environmental Health Division – (EHD) has established a new technical working group to help guide the nationwide roll-out of a sanitation and hygiene campaign.
The group held their first meeting on Tuesday 14 April, 2015.
In attendance were representatives from a range of Ministries, non-government and civil society organisations, and UN agencies.
Ethel Mapolu – Director Environmental Health Division (Ag), at the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Unit (RWASH) at the Ministry of Health said: “It is good to see so many representatives, from so many organisations, coming together for one cause.
“The amount of experience among the group is outstanding and will be essential in ensuring a quality sanitation and hygiene campaign that works for the Solomon Islands”.
The technical working group was formed under the government’s National Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Policy, which was endorsed in February 2014.
This policy aims to follow an integrated approach that addresses the three pillars of water, sanitation and hygiene.
It highlights that nationwide coverage of sanitation cannot be achieved through subsidies. Instead, we must focus on creating demand among communities to improve their own sanitation and hygiene using local, affordable and sustainable solutions.